(HealthDay News) – Type 2 diabetes is independently associated with increased risk of severe osteoarthritis, and independently predicts arthroplasty, according to a study published online Sept 21 in Diabetes Care.

Georg Schett, MD, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, and colleagues followed 927 men and women (aged 40–80 years) for 20 years (1990–2010) to assess whether type 2 diabetes is an independent risk predictor for severe osteoarthritis.

The researchers found that rates of arthroplasty were significantly higher in patients with type 2 diabetes (17.7 per 1,000 person-years) compared to those without (5.3 per 1,000 person-years). In unadjusted analysis, type 2 diabetes was a significant independent risk predictor for arthroplasty (hazard ratio, 3.8) and remained significant after adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI), and other potential confounding factors (hazard ratio, 2.1). Disease duration of type 2 diabetes correlated with an increased probability of arthroplasty and applied to men and women as well as to subgroups according to age and BMI.

“In summary, our data show that type 2 diabetes is a strong predictor for the development of severe osteoarthritis,” the authors write. “This finding is independent of age and BMI and suggests that longstanding diabetes per se is detrimental for knee and hip joints, leading to progressive destruction and joint failure.”

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